DJ Fresh

  1. THE relationship one has with where they come from, says a lot about them. It could be the difference between good and greatness.

Queue Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The latter is now being seen as a great all-round human being, because of how much of a philanthropist he is for Akron, his hometown. Compared to Jordan who hasn’t done as much for Chicago.

Having been fortunate enough to travel the world and amass valuable knowledge, DJ Monotone is doing a LeBron, in that he’s giving back to his beloved Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in the North West province.

Real name Pontsho Moono, the audio engineer turned DJ and producer is bringing knowledge to the youth in the province he grew up, through his project Areyeng Gae (let’s go home).

“I was presented with music opportunities at church to learn the keyboard and also the Mmabana Cultural Centre played a role in grooming my musical diversity and musical formal training. I was presented with opportunities to travel the world-Barcelona, Texas, New York- to attend musical conferences globally, and that also became a drive for me to wanna bring that knowledge home,” says Monotone.

Areyeng Gae is a movement involving a series of workshops featuring various established role players in the entertainment space and other related industries. The aim of the project is to challenge them to literally go back to the townships and villages and inspire the young talent coming after them through mentorship and community projects. Areyeng Gae was founded by Monotone and his business partner, Tshepang Hassen.

“So we started doing it last year in Joburg and we took it back home because of the demand from people that side, we went back to North West during the Easter weekend of 2018 and it has been epic ever since,” Monotone says. In April this year, the movement donated school uniform and stationery to a local primary school.

DJ Monotone. Photo Supplied

As this Saturday marks the start of a new season, Areyeng Gae is taking things a notch higher with its first annual Music & Arts Workshop. The workshop will focus on educating people on the business side of the entertainment industry about key issues such as distribution, copyright and sampling-all this free of charge for the public.

“We have brought musical rights experts from SAMPRA to explain and breakdown the complexity attached to topics such as royalties, publishing, record label establishment, etc. Acting experience from Tshepo Maseko and Mapaseka Koetle will also help with understanding that world better. Music compiler from Motsweding FM, including myself as a music mentor-as seen on The Remix SA on SABC 1.” Monotone is the resident mentor on the SABC 1 reality TV show. His sound engineering cap has seen him work behind the scenes on TV shows such as Soccer Zone, Laduma, Soccer 411 and Afro Café.“The whole idea is to motivate a black child.”

After Saturday’s workshop in the evening, a concert will take place which will be headlined by DJ Fresh and a number of other artists, including Monotone himself.


He isn’t the first and sadly not the last, but eMtee’s fall off stage this past weekend highlights the toxic relationship artists have with drugs and alcohol.

Emtee was performing in front of hundreds of fans at the fifth annual Lephalale Black And White festival in Limpopo. Throughout the performance, the Roll Up hit maker is seen struggling perform, let alone stand, as he staggered on stage looking drunk and basically out of sorts.

It’s really sad seeing another talented South African artist battling drugs, in front of  our eyes for us to see. The likes of Brenda Fassie, Hugh Masekela and Kabelo Mabalane are some renowned musicians that have had their addiction battles in the public eye. Mabalane is fortunate to have seeked help before it got too late. Now a pastor, he once admitted to spending a million rand on drugs. The likes of Kelly Khumalo, Riky Rick and Trevor Gumbi have also admitted to their addictions.

The prevalence and ubiquity of drugs in the industry is scary. Some people come into the industry not having tried any drugs in their life, then fold to the pressure of being around those who are steeped in that life. Some get into drugs because they’re trying to fight off depression and anxieties that stem from industry pressures or simply, life.

In an interview on Metro FM with DJ Fresh on his breakfast show last year, comedian John Vlismas spoke about this epidemic problem in the media and creative space. “We have been hardwired to think that we are working hard in media, we don’t really. Going down a mine is working hard. Being a domestic, and working for people who are ungrateful is very hard. We think we work hard, therefore we should play hard and we have been raised in a society where this is permissive.” Vlismas himself, had issues with drug addiction before changing his lifestyle because of near-death experiences.

Unusually seen as a passageway to godly avant garde creative juices, drugs have destroyed so many talented souls. That Fassie died at 39 years of age is a scary fact which should serve as a lesson to those who come after her; to treasure and respect their gift and careers. The most common drugs are heroin, cocaine, alcohol, codeine (lean) and marijuana.

In a tweet last night as the eMtee video was trending, rapper Cassper Nyovest, gave advice to Emtee and fellow artists in the industry.  “Sometimes we are hated for trying to show niggas the light. God gave us a chance to make something of ourselves. We got families to feed niggas. Let’s not play with the gifts. Let’s not laugh at each other as well. Let’s help each other. That cool shit is done. Drop the drugs!!!” the tweet read.

I really hope eMtee’s record company, Ambitious Records will help the young artist before it’s too late. It’s one thing to embarrass yourself in front of everyone, but something else letting your child grow up without a parent.

About us

We’ll Not Change The World Ourselves. But We’ll Spark The Minds That Do.
Read More



    I'm not a robot
    View our Privacy Policy